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Bernie Threatens to Support Primary Challenges Against Manchin, Sinema

'This is West Virginia, it’s rough and tumble. We’re used to that. So bring it on ... '

(Headline USA)  Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said this week that he’s considering supporting primary challenges against Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., because they won’t help Democrats abolish the filibuster in the Senate.

“There is a very good chance” Manchin and Sinema face primary challenges because of their opposition to Democratic leadership, Sanders said.

Asked whether he would support these challenges, Sanders said, “Well, yeah.”

Sanders is registered as an independent but still caucuses with the Democratic Party, which makes his threat against Manchin and Sinema unusual.

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However, Manchin made it clear he doesn’t care.

“I’ve been primaried my entire life. That would not be anything new for me,” he said on Tuesday.

“I’ve never run an election I wasn’t primaried,” he added. “This is West Virginia, it’s rough and tumble. We’re used to that. So bring it on.”

Manchin and Sinema announced last week that they would not vote to abolish or reform the Senate’s filibuster, a legislative tactic that forces the majority party to earn 60 votes total to pass most legislation. As a result, Democrats’ hopes of passing Biden’s “voting rights” bill is doomed to fail.

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“The majority of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus have changed their minds [on the importance of the filibuster],” Manchin said. “I respect that. They have a right to change their minds. I haven’t. I hope they respect that too. I’ve never changed my mind on the filibuster.”

Sinema agreed: “There’s no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation,” she said during a speech on the Senate floor last week.

“When one party need only negotiate with itself, policy will inextricably be pushed from the middle towards the extremes,” noting that she does not support that outcome, and “Arizonans don’t either.”

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